The hot topic in India now is Nestle’s Maggi. Many controversies are revolving around this food, which was so far the favorite food for children from around the nation.
Where did the controversy began?
An officer of the Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration based on Barabanki ordered tests on a dozen samples of this product at the state laboratory in Gorakhpur and repeat tests were also ordered at the Central Food Laboratory in Kolkata. The former lab tested for the content called MSG expanded as Monosodium Glutamate to check the claim of Nestle that the product has no MSG. But, both the initial test and repeat test found that the product has MSG. In addition, the lab in Kolkata found that there is a very high quantity of lead in this product.
On the basis of the findings, the Uttar Pradesh Food & Drug Administration filed a complaint at the Barabanki Court. On the 1st of June the Food Minister ordered the statutory regulator and directed the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, shortened as FSSAI for conducting tests on Maggi noodles all over the nation. It was stated that not just MSG and lead, but all other parameters should be tested.
What are the rules governing instant noodles under FSSAI?
According to the Food Safety and Standards Rules 2016, MSG, which is the flavor enhancer, should never be added to the foods for infants below 12 years of age. MSG is not permitted in more than 50 items inclusive of noodles and pastas, but it is permitted in the seasoning used for pastas and noodles. When it comes to instant noodles, the permitted level of lead is 2.5 ppm. But, when Maggi was tested, it was found that it has 17.2 ppm of lead.
Why are lead and MSG added to noodles?
MSG is known to act as the stimulant for the nervous system and it can make the food to appear tastier. The FDA of United States says that MSG is generally safe like baking powder, vinegar, pepper and salt. For instance, it is present in natural foods like mushroom and tomato. Even though, it is stated that MSG can cause some reactions to the body, there is no evidence for the same as per Mayo clinic note on allergies. However, the frequency and time of exposure may have an impact. Experts state that even though, when a product has satisfying MSG level, but if a person takes it frequently or in large quantities, it may be harmful.
When talking about lead, scientists state that it can come from natural substances like water or flavoring material or even the curling or packaging agent.
With 5 states in India already banned Maggi, more states are expected to ban within a few days. So, to get out of the ill effects like sluggishness, chest tightness, increased thirst, nausea and headache, keep away, even if your state government has not yet banned the product.